Bross Bagels to enter liquidation as debts top £1.2m

Bross Bagels to enter liquidation as debts top £1.2m

An Edinburgh sandwich shop chain, Bross Bagels, has filed for liquidation after accruing debts of over £1.2 million.

The largest chunk of this debt, approximately £625,000, is owed to the Inland Revenue. In a joint investigation, The Edinburgh Reporter and The Edinburgh Guardian discovered that Larah Bross, the owner of Bross Bagels, and her partner Marc Millar had lodged a petition for the business to be wound up at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 3 August.

In the lead-up to this decision, Bross Bagels received a warning from HM Revenue and Customs about a winding-up action for a substantial amount of £574,132. The letter read: “If the company doesn’t pay in full or contact us about a payment plan by 3 August 2023, we may apply for a winding-up order against the company for this debt.”

Ms Bross registered a new business, Hot Mama Bagels, at Companies House the following day.

While the business was put into administration at the start of August, Ms Bross remained optimistic, having expressed her commitment to continue trading and securing jobs for her employees. “We have taken professional advice; and a restructure has allowed us to safeguard all jobs and the good news is that it’s business as usual for bagel lovers,” Ms Bross stated.

The financial predicaments of Bross Bagels were reflected in their latest annual accounts, which showed net liabilities of £546,339. Short-term liabilities totalled £770,062, a significant leap from the 2021 figure of £300,140. Meanwhile, longer-term debts stood at £486,626, including £144,000 due to backers from a crowdfunding effort.

Founded in 2017 in Portobello, Bross Bagels quickly gained popularity for its Montreal-style bagels and unique marketing strategies. They launched a crowdfunding initiative in 2020, prompting investors to contribute £1,000 each. Despite previous expansions, several outlets have since closed, leaving just the original Portobello bagel store.

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